Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Changes to World Bank Safeguards Risk “Race to the Bottom”, U.N. Experts Warn

An unprecedented number of United Nations special rapporteurs and independent experts are raising pointed concerns over the World Bank’s ongoing review of its pioneering environmental and social safeguards, particularly around the role that human rights will play in these revamped policies.

Filipinos Take to the Streets One Year After Typhoon Haiyan

People covered their bodies with mud to protest against government ineptitude and abandonment; others lighted paper lanterns and candles and released white doves and balloons to remember the dead, offer thanks and pray for more strength to move on; while many trooped to a vast grave site with white crosses to lay flowers for those who died, and to cry one more time.

Environmental Funding Bypasses Indigenous Communities

When she talks about the forests in her native Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, Maridiana Deren’s facial expression changes. The calm, almost shy person is transformed into an emotionally charged woman, her fists clench and she stares wide-eyed at whoever is listening to her.

U.N. Pushes Climate-Smart Agriculture – But Are the Farmers Willing to Change?

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to make a strong pitch to world political leaders at the U.N. Climate Summit in New York on Sep. 23 to accept new emissions targets and their timelines.

Bangladeshi Girls Seek Equal Opportunity

Until five years ago, Shima Aktar, a student in Gajaghanta village in the Rangpur district of Bangladesh, about 370 km northwest of the capital Dhaka, was leading a normal life. But when her father decided that it was time for her to conform to purdah, a religious practice of female seclusion, things changed.

Obama’s Free Trade Strategy Falters in Asia

Amid simmering territorial conflicts across the Western Pacific, specifically between China and its neighbours in the South and East China Seas, coupled with China rising to the rank of top trading partner with Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Obama administration has been hard-pressed to re-assert its strategic footprint in the region.

Triple Summit in Singapore Puts Urban Planning on the Map

With over 20,000 international participants, a triple summit wrapping up today in Singapore is generating an abundance of ideas on sustainable cities.

Pakistan’s Coal Rush: A Bubble Waiting to Burst

Mukhtar Ali is one of the many Pakistanis who are furious at politicians and authorities for failing to provide citizens with a regular supply of electricity during the smouldering summer months.

In the Philippines, a Vortex of Climate Change and Debt

Since Typhoon Yolanda made landfall in the Philippines on Nov. 8, the country has sent holders of its debt close to one billion dollars, surpassing, in less than two months, the 800 million dollars the U.N. has asked of international donors to help rebuild the ravaged central region of the archipelago.

Quakes Could Collapse Kathmandu

As the chief of building codes and earthquake safety of the Lalitpur Municipality, located about 10 km from Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, Sainik Raj Singh has the tough job of cracking down on builders who fail to comply with the government’s construction regulations.